6. Valentino Rossi and Giacomo Agostini


Before Valentino, my 500cc GP heroes were larger than life and too big and serious for their britches; they all went down in flames. Rossi was different from the start, not afraid to laugh, not afraid to express himself with his graphics to his post-win plays-within-the-play to his WLF neckwear. Rossi’s been pacing himself since about 1996, winning the last 500cc title in 2001 before making the segue to 990cc four-strokes and winning four MotoGP championships in a row. And now that there’s a new wonderboy, it’s a joy to watch Vale E. Coyote try anything short of crashing to beat the kid just once; you know he would Gibernau him if only he could catch Marquez.

And Giacomo because he’s the only guy with more titles, and because at the Legends of the Motorcycle a few years ago, Ago brought his 22-years younger wife and I brought my 22-years younger GF. He winked at me, I winked at him. Simpatico! Phil Read tried to wreck our happiness but failed. Again. Greatest weekend of my life, really …